Junior Research Associate (JRA) Scheme

Become a top young researcher with the skills and expertise for a successful research career. During this scheme, you'll work with world-renowned academics, receive a bursary so you can work on your research full time, and gain real-world experience of your chosen field.

First-year undergraduate students in a lab session at the University of Sussex

What is the JRA scheme? 

At Sussex, most of our undergraduate research takes place within our Junior Research Associate (JRA) scheme. 

The eight-week programme is offered to all of our high performing undergraduate students over the summer. If you're accepted on to the scheme, you get a bursary to work on your research full time, work closely with supervisors, and network with other researchers.

You'll also attend training workshops and have access to University resources.

At the end of the scheme, you'll put together a research poster which is displayed at our Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition. The top two posters are chosen to represent Sussex at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) annual Posters in Parliament exhibition. 

Since 2008, more than 450 students have participated in the programme - including students from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and there are special provisions for Sussex Neuroscience students.

Find out more

Visit the Sussex Undergraduate Research Office website.

The JRA scheme is a unique opportunity to not just learn new things but find out how to approach problems and design solutions, and to work closely with people who have chosen to do that for a living.” Brady
Biomedical Science BSc

How you can benefit from the scheme

If you're offered a place on the scheme, you'll benefit from:

  • workshops on research skills including an introduction to managing research data, effective literature searching and an introduction to research study skills
  • an introduction to postgraduate study, where you can explore further study after your undergraduate course 
  • networking with the Sussex library research team and admission to the Sussex research HIVE, which is an area designated for researchers
  • a workshop to help you create your research poster
  • the chance to attend the annual BCUR and present your research
  • social events such as a barbeque, quiz and networking session.

Some of our junior research associates choose to continue working alongside their supervisor after the scheme has finished and sometimes this leads to their work being published.

The JRA scheme has given me clarity on what type of career I would like, the steps it will take to get there, and also my ability to do it.” Natasha
Zoology BSc

Eligibility for the scheme

You can apply for the scheme in your second year of academic study. You must have completed one year of study and not be in your final year.

You must:

  • be seriously considering postgraduate study
  • have agreed for your project to be supervised by an active Sussex academic for the duration of the scheme and mentored by a PhD student
  • choose to join an existing project or come up with an original proposal (as long as an academic is willing to supervise it).

You can apply for the scheme from any academic discipline at Sussex including Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

Life on the JRA scheme

You can hear from some of our students below, or find out about some of our JRA social events

Thomas Kober
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence BSc 
Find out more

International students

If you're an international student studying at one of our partner universities and you're looking for a research placement in the UK you may be eligible for our eight-week International Junior Research Associate scheme (IJRA).

If you're offered a place on the scheme, you'll benefit from: 

  • networking opportunities with international summer school students and students from other junior research associate schemes at Sussex
  • support and training to develop your academic and research skills 
  • a University reception where you can deliver a presentation about your research to academics, international JRA supervisors and senior management
  • a workshop to support the creation of your academic poster (which summarises the research you have undertaken during the summer) – this will be entered into an undergraduate research poster exhibition on campus in the autumn term 
  • an introduction to postgraduate study, where you can explore further study after your undergraduate course. 

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